Sean Kelly is delighted to present Candida Höfer – In Mexico, the artist’s second solo exhibition with the gallery. Internationally recognised for her meticulously composed, large-scale colour images of architectural interiors, Höfer traveled to Mexico in 2015 to make this body of work as part of the cultural exchange program Mexico-Germany Dual Year, which brought different cultural, scientific, musical and educational projects to Mexican audiences in 2016–17. There will be an opening reception on Saturday, February 2, 6-8pm. The artist will be present.
Over the course of a four-decade career, Candida Höfer (born in Eberswalde, Germany, 1944) has produced a photographic oeuvre that explores the psychological impact of architecture by focusing attention on the contrast between its intended and actual uses. Her archetypal images capture the interiors of grand spaces including libraries, theatres, churches and museums—spaces of public congregation that in her photographs are rendered devoid of people. In describing her work and the role of these missing inhabitants Höfer observed, 'I realised that what people do in those places–and what the spaces do to them–is more obvious when nobody is present, just as an absent guest can often become the topic of conversation.'
For her first project in Mexico, Höfer traveled throughout the country photographing a diverse group of buildings that range from the Baroque extravagance of the Museuo Nacional del Virreinato to the Neoclassical order of Palacio de Bellas Artes Ciudad de México, with its Art Nouveau and Art Deco interiors. Capturing over 600 years of architectural history from her precise perspective, Höfer’s photographs document not only the physical details of these interiors but also capture the spirit and essence of each space.
In addition to her iconic large format photographs, the exhibition includes a selection of works that capture the intimate, hidden spaces and unique details of the buildings she explored, taken with a hand-held camera the artist always carries with her. From the subtle light breaking through a doorway entrance to the harsh shadows cast by the sun on an exterior wall, these quiet yet emotional images enhance the dialogue between the micro and the macro and bring to our attention the details in spaces that are often overlooked or inaccessible.
Candida Höfer lives and works in Cologne, Germany. Höfer's internationally recognised work has been shown in solo exhibitions at the Kunsthalle, Basel; the Museum Folkwang, Essen; the Louvre, Paris; the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; and the Kunstmuseum, Luzerne. Her work has also appeared in group exhibitions at The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Power Plant, Toronto; Kunsthaus Bregenz; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao; and Documenta XI, Kassel. Höfer represented Germany at the 2003 Venice Biennale. Her photographs are in major public and private collections worldwide.
Höfer’s Mexico project was organised in collaboration with Galeria OMR and the Amparo Museum, Puebla, Mexico with support from the Goethe Institute of Mexico. This body of work has been exhibited in Mexico at the Antiguo Colegio De San Idelfonso, Mexico City; Centro de las Artes, Monterrey, México; Museo Amparo, Puebla, Mexico and was most recently on view in the United States at the North Carolina Museum of Art. To document this body of work, there was a catalogue published with the generous support of UBS.
Press release courtesy Sean Kelly.
Candida Höfer's photographs are so geometric and so precise that they can appear slightly uncanny, leaving viewers vaguely unsettled. Her work has been described as a 'deadpan inventory of public spaces,' 'chillinglingly awesome,' containing a 'hostility... that is bracing,' and possessing a 'classical concept of beauty.' These characterizations...
From decorative Baroque churches to shadowy nooks, Mexico's architectural history is presented in this image set by German photographer Candida Höfer, which will be exhibited in Sean Kelly's New York gallery.